Jed Helker, fresh off his 8-kilometer win in the Greeno/Dirksen Invitational in Nebraska, talks about how he knocked 40 seconds off his personal best and why there is much optimism for the men’s cross country team. He discusses how the atmosphere at Wichita State attracted him as a recruit out of Oklahoma and coach Kirk Hunter’s blend of caring for his runners and pushing them. We also discuss how Oklahoma coach Hannah Fields, his older sister, influenced his running career and his motivations for considering coaching as a career.
John Wise is the assistant director of track and field and cross country. He joins the podcast to preview the Wichita State Open, which starts at noon Saturday at Cessna Stadium.
Wise discusses the rising optimism for the outdoor season after the indoor’s uncertainty. He talks about hurdler Joseph Holthusen’s path from lightly recruited high schooler to indoor All-American and Shockers off to a great start to the outdoor season, such as hammer thrower Michael Bryan and the women’s steeplechase crew.
We wrap up by talking about how movies theaters may or may not survive the pandemic, which movie might lure him back to the theater and his “Travel With a Wise Guy” video series on YouTube. Joyland alert!
Javelin thrower Taran Taylor and John Wise, assistant director of track and field, discuss workouts during a pandemic and prospects for an indoor season. Taylor, from Ark City, details his rise as a standout thrower, his return from elbow surgery and how his engineering major might relate to the javelin.
Cassie Craig was one of the best pole vaulters to ever come out of Wichita State and now is living in Los Angeles where she is a stunt woman, actress, singer and Covid-19 mask maker. She became nationally known for being on American Ninja Warrior for 4 years. We catch up with her about what she’s doing now and what it’s like to do stunts for a living. This was a fascinating conversation – fun stuff! (0:00) Intro. (0:45) Cassie tells us what she’s doing now and what it’s like to live in Los Angeles during the Coronavirus shutdown. (6:30) We talk about high school track, her all-around athletic ability and her experience at Wichita State. (12:30) Cassie becomes an American Ninja Warrior. (17:45) Cassie moves to L.A. and creates a new career as a stunt woman on a TV show. (25:13) What does the multi-talented Cassie want to do with her life?
I got to know Kevin Hadsell when I was coaching at Kent State and he was at Toledo. He was very successful during his time as a Rocket. After his coaching career ended, he took up acting and is now involved in a variety of different things from owning his own talent agency to being partners in a construction company. He’s always been a very interesting and entertaining guy to talk to and we go all over the map during this conversation. Enjoy! (0:00) Intro. (0:40) Update on what Kevin is currently up to during the Coronavirus situation. (5:15) Thoughts on the Michael Jordan documentary “The Last Dance” and sports in the 90’s. (9:45) How young people are busy creating their own brands these days in both athletics and acting. We get into the NCAA’s new Name, Image and Likeness ideas and the effects it might have on college athletics. (20:00) We discuss Akron getting their cross country team cut and the impending financial crisis that universities and athletic departments may have and if MAC football makes sense. (39:10) Finally, I ask Kevin what he misses about being a coach and if he would want to return someday.
During his career, Marc Burns has coached at Loyola, Wichita State, Bradley and now Missouri and has been successful everywhere he’s been. We really enjoyed his 4 years at WSU and have stayed good friends ever since. Always great catching up with Burnsie!(0:00) Intro. (0:54) We talk about how things are currently going in Columbia, Missouri, for Marc’s family and team. (6:43) I ask Marc who is going to making the decisions about starting our season back up? The NCAA, the conferences or the schools? (10:43) We run through Marc’s running and professional career. (24:07) Finally, we end with what it like coaching Karissa Schweizer.
Brooke Rasnick will sound very familiar to Shocker fans as she was one of our great pole vaulters around a decade ago. After stops in Oregon and Kent State, she has found a home in Louisville, Kentucky as the multi’s and pole vault coach. It was great catching up with her! (0:00) Intro. (1:00) Rasnick explains what it’s like being at Louisville during the current Coronavirus situation in regards to what their current athletes are doing and what the future looks like. (11:48) We run through Brooke’s career from El Dorado High School to Wichita State to Oregon to Kent State and eventually Louisville. (19:45) Finally we talk about what it’s like having a new family while coaching college track and field.
A little something different this week. Scott Ufford is a Wichita State Track & Field alumni who currently works as a lawyer in Wichita. For the month of April he took suggestions to do 30 different activities – one a day – for an entire month. Some were very difficult, some were easy, all were unique. Fun conversation and a great distraction during these trying times!
Softball coach Kristi Bredbenner talks about outfitting the addition to her family in Shocker colors, keeping the team connected through check-ins and regular questions. She has three talented seniors who will return next spring and she details what that means for her roster. Track and field’s Steve Rainbolt misses the rhythm of accomplishment and team competition he usually experiences during the spring. He is a newcomer to Netflix and offers a few movie recommendations, led by “Bull Durham.”
Wendel McRaven is the head cross country and distance coach for Texas A&M. I worked with Wendel at Kent State where he was an assistant coach and eventually the head coach for the Golden Flashes. Originally from the Chicago area, he also made stops at Alabama, Nebraska and Illinois. With all of his experience at different types of schools, he has a great perspective on what is going on in the world of college athletics now. Great podcast! (0:00) Intro. (1:20) Life at Texas A&M and the SEC right now. (6:00) Thoughts on how some schools are honoring scholarships and some will not in 2021. (9:25) How potentially not having football at Power 5 schools may affect everyone. (14:30) We run through Wendel’s coaching history from college until now at A&M.